Welcome, dear reader, to the latest installment of Everything Else Last Week, where we look back at all the news in everything cool you may have missed from this past week. Pretty simple, huh?
This week (or I guess last week), Star Wars and Marvel channels could be coming to a TV near you, say goodbye to your GoPro, blade-less wind turbines are catching wind, and more in EELW for May 17, 2015.
Marvel and Star Wars are arguably two of the largest entertainment properties today, with enough content to satisfy their massive fan-bases. With a plethora of movies, cartoons, and live action series to bout, Disney is discussing the exciting possibility of Marvel and Star Wars dedicated channels respectively.
“We have said that with these channels and these brands — ESPN, ABC, Disney, maybe even down the road something related to Star Wars and Marvel — we do have an ability as a company to take product, specifically filmed entertainment, television, movies, directly to consumers.”
Since the reveal was more of an off-hand possibility than an official announcement, details are sparse. But, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if these channels played host to shows such as Star Wars The Clone Wars or Agents of SHEILD, along with the Star Wars series and Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The big question being asked is whether or not these channels will play host to original content. Considering series such as Star Wars Rebels and Daredevil are semi ‘Netflix Originals,’ will a Marvel or Star Wars channel take these successful shows over – perhaps delivering a blow to cable cutters?
It’s a possibility, but one only slightly greater than these channels ever being made in the first place. Although the audiences are there, having an entire channel dedicated to one franchise has both never been done before and runs the possibility of fatigue.
At least for now, however, with a $374 million opening at the domestic box office for Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as the first new Star Wars movie in a decade later this year – neither juggernaut is showing signs of fatigue any time soon.
Note: this is in no way a product endorsement of the Lily Drone Camera, just a really neat, innovative and practical piece of tech. Not satisfied? OK it sucks, the Lily Drone sucks! Happy now? I mean look at this thing, why would you ever want to break it cold, metallic, $500 heart?
Developed by a pair of UC Berkley Students, the Lily is a portable propelled camera drone, which follows and records the users through GPS tracking – think GoPro on steroids. The drone can record up to 50ft in the air at a maximum speed of 40km/h to bring some truly epic shots.
For the hefty price, albeit similar to the GoPro Hero 4, Lily is expected to endure its fair share of beatings. It weighs less and takes up just as much room as a laptop, its waterproof up to 1 meter underwater – including saltwater – it has a tiny 20-minute battery life and is very offended if you make fun of it.
On the downside, though, Lily does not have obstacle avoidance, which could cause the user to spend more time checking the drone than doing their actual extreme sport. So, sorry mountain bikers, hikers, dedicated city vloggers its not going to work out, but don’t worry its not you it’s her.
The Lily Drone Camera is currently available to pre-order for $499, with $20 US and $30 International shipping. Shipping will begin in February 2016.
Oh, and incase you’re on the fence – the developers made it pretty clear Lily can’t spy on your neighbors for you because “other people will most likely notice Lily and quickly figure out where you are. You are better off climbing up a tree and using binoculars.” I suppose my search continues then…
Wait you didn’t scroll past? It's about wind turbines – real wind turbines! OK you’re either incredibly bored or somewhat interested. OR you’re a fellow wind turbine enthusiast, in which case I welcome you, brethren – or sister-ren; we wind turbine enthusiasts don’t like to offed, it’s what we’re known for.
Anyway, new Vortex Bladeless wind turbines bring an exciting, cost-effect and bird-friendly alternative to the current white windmill. Their twig-like appearance may puzzle you in regard to their effectiveness in capturing wind, but rest assured Vortex Bladeless’ co-founder David Suriol and his team has given an old design flaw new purpose.
\“We said, ‘Why don’t we use this energy, not avoid it,” stated Suriol in regard to Vorticity – a swaying effect inflected on tall structures by high amounts of wind. And Vorticity is exactly how these turbines harness wind without the use of blades; “we can’t say anything bad about conventional wind turbines; they’re great machines,” Suriol continued. “We’re just proposing a new way, a different way.”
To further exploit this vibrational energy, Vortex turbines are comprised of lightweight material such as fiberglass and carbon fire, with a pair of magnets generating a natural motor. What’s more, the 41-foot structure is absent of bolts or gears, lowering the cost by 51% of traditional turbines and requiring less dangerous repairs.
Suriol and Vortex have been receiving local support thanks to $1 million in funding from the Spanish government. Yet, the true test will come in the form of crowdfunding, which begins June 1st . The co-founder remains hopeful, stating, “Our vision is to start introducing the technology for self-distribution in the next 18 months.”
“… We still have a lot to prove and much work to do… I hope in 20 years Vortex will be the next wind generator model we will see deployed in the landscape.”
And I’m sure my fellow Wind Turbine enthusiasts agree. I mean, after all, we don’t like to offed.
Marvel may be dominating the cinematic front, but DC has furthered their already-aggressive television push with the recently announced Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow series on CBS and CW respectively. Both upcoming series received official trailers, and appear to be worthy installments to the company’s decent line-up. Of course the lack of a coherent connected universe is a step behind Marvel, but DC has taken the liberty of putting their name in front of their work; now they just have to make it mean something.
James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, will be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, albeit not the most meaningful role. During a recent interview with Star Trek writer and actor, Simon Pegg, the 45-year old who will also be making an appearance in the upcoming film, accidently said, “I wasn’t a Stormtrooper. Daniel Craig, he was a Stormtrooper. I shouldn’t have said that.” Source
And lastly, it was a sad Thursday for Simpsons fans, as voice actor Harry Shearer confirmed on Twitter he was leaving the beloved series after 26 years. During his run, Shearer most notably voiced Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Skinner, amongst others. To be frank, though, after 26 years and 583 episodes there’s probably enough voice clips to last another few seasons. Regardless, Shearer did leave on good terms, with co-creator James T. Brooks lawyer stating, “[The] show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best. This is because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. I wish him the very best.” Source (1) (2)
So, there you have it, another EELW in the books (who reads those things anyways?) Be sure to discuss any of your thoughts in the comment section down below, and until next Sunday – yes I know it’s a Monday, but just role with it – this has been Everything Else Last Week for Sunday (Monday) May (still May) 17th (18th). Thanks for reading (tolerating)!
Check out last week's post HERE